12 fun fall activities

Every season has its own wonderful variations of sights, scents and tastes. Take advantage of fall while you get the chance, or it will be gone again for another nine months.

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  • I have to say that my all-around favorite season is fall. It has the best sights (beautiful orange and yellow foliage, carved pumpkins on doorsteps, food-laden cornucopia centerpieces), the best scents (falling leaves, crisp frost, cinnamon candles) and the best tastes (hot chocolate flavored with peppermint, pumpkin pie, slow-roasted turkey). Enjoy this season while you can. It only comes once a year!

  • Here are the top 12 fall activities you shouldn't miss out on this season.

  • 1. Go for a hayride

  • There's nothing quite like sitting on a scratchy bench of straw bumping over a rutted dirt road. No really, it's actually pretty fun, especially if you have some young kids to take along.

  • 2. Traverse a corn maze

  • Go on a date or take the whole family. The best part is always the hot chocolate you drink afterward.

  • 3. Collect colorful fall leaves

  • We used to do this as a family. Take a walk through a well-wooded park and challenge each other to collect the most beautiful, pristine fall leaves. If you are artistically inclined, you can make a collage out of it afterward.

  • 4. Have a tailgating party

  • Whether you're into football or not, tailgating can be a fun way of socializing with friends and family over delicious, grilled food.

  • 5. Jump in a pile of leaves

  • No fall would be complete without a good romp in a pile of slightly damp leaves. Taking pictures of the leaves you throw in the air in front of your face is always good fun too.

  • 6. Make a pinecone birdfeeder

  • These are easy and fun. Just cover an open, dry pinecone in peanut butter and then roll it in birdseed. Hang it from a tree branch or eave where you can easily see it.

  • 7. Bake a pumpkin pie

  • They never taste quite as good at any other time of year. Some grocery stores even sell actual pumpkin pie pumpkins with instructions for how to make pumpkin pie from scratch.

  • 8. Drink hot cider

  • Best consumed after a brisk morning trot past still-frosty lawns or an evening walk with the family through a nearby park.

  • 9. Carve a pumpkin

  • You can't be afraid to get your hands dirty to enjoy this activity. It comes with the added bonus of getting to enjoy the fruits of your artistic ability and roasted pumpkin seeds make a great after-carving snack.

  • 10. Build a bonfire

  • Bonfires feel best at this time of year when the air gets cool enough in the evenings that it feels good to cuddle close to the warmth of the fire.

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  • 11. Enjoy warm clothes

  • Before the real winter chill sets in and you can't go outside without a ski parka, enjoy the cozy warmth provided by a thick, knit sweater or your favorite fleece jacket.

  • 12. Be thankful

  • This, more than any other time of year, provides you with opportunities to reflect on the good things in your life. Make a goal to think about what you're grateful for every day. Write those things down so when times get hard, you can be reminded of all the great parts of being you.

  • Fall is the season for cuddling and cooking, eating and visiting. If you celebrate it well, it will impart a warmth to your heart that will dwell with you all year long.

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Katie Nielsen received her bachelor's in English with an emphasis in technical writing. She has taught English and is a published writer.

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